I am absolutely loving my Veganuary journey. I feel that the start to this year has been very zen, despite a few things going a little wonky – I am making small but significant changes and progressions in my life which are adding hugely to my overall happiness. I feel that eating a vegan diet so far this year has helped me with that! I have so much energy, rarely feel over-hungry and I have already noticed a few changes in my body too.
Eating a vegan diet doesn’t have to be restrictive – in fact, I’ve not felt restricted at all so far! I have eaten out a few times, and done plenty of research into where I can eat out on further occasions during January, and wanted to put together a quick guide of some of my favourite restaurants and dishes (plus some I want to try) for you today!
In terms of main courses, the vegan options at Wagamama aren’t overwhelming (in fact, they’re pretty much limited to one dish) but that one dish happens to be delicious! It’s the Yasai Itame is a coconut-noodle-tofu delight that I tried last week, and featured in my latest WhatTheHealth ‘What I Ate Today’ video. It has a kick and real bite with the noodles, and I challenge anyone who thinks vegans eat nothing but lettuce to try it and tell me vegan food isn’t awesome. Yum!
Italian favourite Carluccio’s actually have a totally separate vegan menu! There are lots of starters and desserts to choose from, plus delicious sides, but only one main course. Luckily, it’s something I would naturally have chosen anyway! The Spaghetti Al Pomodoro E Basilico was delicious if basic, and really filled me up. We also had the bread tin with oil and balsamic vinegar to start and I was in food heaven. For fruit-heavy vegans they also have some incredible fruit juices on offer that we just had to try!
Now I have to admit that I haven’t actually tried this pizza yet, but I’ve heard wonderful things! Pizza Express actually do a dedicated vegan non-cheese pizza, the Pianta, which features a spicy Arrabbiata base, spinach, mushrooms, pine kernels and artichokes. I can’t stop thinking about how much I want to try it – I’ve never had a cheese-less pizza before, but although you can take in your own vegan cheese for them to pop onto the Pianta, I’ve heard the flavours are delicious without.
I’ve heard lots about the little changes you can make to some dishes at Nando’s to make them vegan – my usual vegetarian favourite, the Mushroom and Halloumi pitta could be ordered without the halloumi and mayo, for example. The Veggie Pitta is also recommended by Nando’s themselves, again without the mayo. It seems as though all of their spicy sauces/bastes are vegan, and there are loads of sides on offer too. Just ask for some extra tips when you’re there!
I recently went out for breakfast at Piccolino with Tiz and two of our friends – when breakfast was suggested, I was worried that it would be impossible to find somewhere that didn’t just offer fry ups and egg-based vegetarian options. I found a humble fruit salad on the Piccolino menu that turned out to be totally delicious! They also had almond milk for drinks and a huge selection of delicious smoothies and juices too. As for the main menu, it looks like you could ask for one of the tomato pasta dishes without parmesan, but it’s not overwhelming. Then breakfast makes up for it though!
I’ve been a major fan of Las Iguanas for a while, as they have a totally separate vegetarian and vegan menu which is incredible! One of the vegan dishes I’m desperate to try is adapted version of the Three Mushroom Fajitas, as I’m a total mushroom addict! I will report back on Instagram once I’ve tried it – their starters and desserts also look awesome. I think it’s so forward thinking to have that dedicated menu! Take note, fellow chain restaurants.
Vegans – where do you love to go restaurant-wise? Please leave me a comments and share your tips!